Published: 12:21, 21 January 2021
| Updated: 15:26, 21 January 2021
A mum is warning others to be on the lookout for a suspicious man who she says attempted to snatch her son as she unloaded her shopping.
Hannah Bartlett, from Margate, had been taking bags out of the boot of her car by Churchfields while her son William stood an "arm's length" away.
On hearing a sudden sound behind her, she turned to look and saw a man go up to the six-year-old, who was "rigid and scared".
"That's what alerted me to the danger, seeing him like that," she said.
"There was no reason for the man to be approaching my son. William was stood next to a wall and there was a small green area where the man could have got past.
"As he got to William, I locked eyes with him and he said 'oh ****' and ran off."
The mum-of-two, who also has a two-year-old, says she quickly put her son back in the car, which was pulled over while her and her partner unloaded the bags.
"I was so shaken that someone had tried to take William"
But she says the man then returned.
She said: "There was a car parked in front of us which at first I'd assumed just couldn't get past us, but suddenly the driver reversed up close and then out of the road. We think they were together.
"I was so shaken that someone had tried to take William. My partner and I wanted to get the kids inside our home quickly but then the man appeared again, hovering at the end of the road."
Miss Bartlett, 27, says he left, then returned a third time, hiding behind a van and watching them.
"My partner and her friend chased him away and I called the police who searched the area," she said.
"I've never seen him before in my life but a security guard I know says he has seen him hanging around the back of Churchfields."
Miss Bartlett says the police are also trying to find the car, although she says it is believed to still be registered to the previous owner.
"You don't really expect this sort of thing to happen," she added.
"I just want other parents to be aware. I won't let my kids leave my side now."
Miss Bartlett says the man was about six foot, with black hair, and wearing a black Duffer jacket with a triangle logo on the back with white writing and denim jeans.
A police spokesman said officers carried out a search of the area after the report of a man acting suspiciously on Tuesday at about 5pm.
"Neither the man nor a vehicle he was reportedly seen in were located," he added.